Context: What if Lisp was invented by the Japanese.
This is an IRC conversation from this morning reproduced in full with minor edits to formatting, spelling and removal of system messages.
09:49 < n0ob> so then it would seem that the summary is that the article is wrong, but postfix notation is inherently superior except that it requires learning
09:49 < lumy> did the post fix thing come from the article?
09:50 < lumy> (the being superiour part)
09:50 < n0ob> no
09:50 < lumy> ok. then we agree about the article.
09:50 < yangman> I wouldn't say the article is wrong, but starts on a good path then misses the point
09:51 < yangman> ... and mostly starts on that path from the wrong point, but, really, only linguists would pick up on that
09:51 < yangman> the actual neat part is how language has changed to better suit the hardware model
09:52 < n0ob> how so?
09:52 < yangman> FORTH is reverse polish because arguments and return values go on the stack, and you need to be very explicitly aware of what's on the stack
09:52 < yangman> (hardware model is perhaps wrong. I'll corret that later)
09:52 < n0ob> well, hardware model may not be incorrect, but there are more than one model to choose from
09:53 < yangman> with a lot of languages that followed after, the stack is basically abstracted away
09:53 < yangman> with FORTH, "what's on the stack?" is very key
09:53 < yangman> with stuff like lisp, "what's my result?" is what's important
09:53 < yangman> NOW
09:53 < yangman> what I initially wanted, but didn't have time nor energy for, is to point this out and make the connection back to Japanese
09:54 < yangman> there's a phenomenon in Japanese, and actually mandarin as well, where the verb is promoted to earlier positions in an utterance
09:54 < yangman> English has this also, but to a lesser extent
09:54 < yangman> so, instead of "(I) fruit(obj) ate"
09:55 < yangman> it's instead "(I) ate, fruit(obj)"
09:55 < yangman> making the connection back to "what's important", you can say that while the fact that a fruit was eaten is important in the first, in the second it was the action
09:56 < yangman> making the connection back to FORTH vs Lisp, you have "what object did I manipulate" vs "what manipulation did I perform"
09:57 < yangman> anyways, that's my outline for a blog post
09:57 < yangman> I got 10 minutes into trying to find linguistic papers on the phenomenon I was describing, but gave up
09:57 < n0ob> that is an interesting point
09:57 < lumy> heh.
09:58 < yangman> but, since I just typed all of that out, it's going on my blog
(I graduated from university with a joint degree in Computing Science and Linguistics. While no longer fluent in Japanese, I lived and went to school in the Tokyo area for 4 continuous years, leaving the country for Canada at age 12.)